I know this is probably a little later than you’d like but I’ve been busy with travelling and what not! In fact, when you read this I’ll have returned from Poland. Finally back in South Africa for a good long while. My first order of business this week is getting this post out but my next order of business is a decent coffee and planning tomorrow (my birthday), because the plan needs to be doing nothing!
Back to Nintendo Labo
About two weeks ago I was invited to the Nintendo Store in Sandton to get hands on with the new Nintendo Labo offering. A little bit of a background: Nintendo launched Labo a few months back. The premise? You purchased a pack of cardboard with a game. The cardboard could be built in to real life toys which then interacted with your console in a fun way. It looked cool but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. In fact I may have made a comment to my Player 2 that I thought the price seemed a bit steep for some cardboard toys. He wasn’t impressed and we chose not to discuss Labo again for fear of getting in to a heated debate.
So I toddled off to the store to test out Labo
And within the first 20 minutes everything I thought I knew about this game was blown out the window. Nintendo Labo is:
1. Completely worth every cent
2. Possibly one of the most fun and entertaining melds between toy and video game that I’ve had the joy to play
The Labo kit costs you R999. It arrives with the software needed to make your creations come to life, a small bag with all the bits and bobs to be added to the cardboard cutouts and then about 5 different toys for you to make: starting with basic little RC cars to a full blown piano! A lot of the Labo designs can also work together to make other items.
Building the items involves using your Switch to follow the easy to build interactive guide. It is really incredibly well done allowing you to speed up and slow down instructions at will as well as get a 3D look at the build as you go. It reminded me a lot of Lego Dimensions but with far more detail and focus. As well as a few cheeky comments thrown in to make you giggle or give you motivation when you get to a particularly tricky part of the build. Building is relatively easy and even a little kid could do it. But, there are a few places where even I struggled (blasted sticker markers anyone?) so I really think Labo is designed as a group activity. I imagine moms and dads helping their kids along. There are a stack of benefits to a product like Labo for children. But most importantly, it is just hella fun.
I ended up spending close on 3 hours building and playing. That was with just one item! There are 5 items in your kit. Just seeing the process and how Labo works will make you realise that it isn’t just “cardboard”. The fact that tiny stickers on something as simple as a button can react with a Joycon on a house to allow the console to change the setting or add an element to a game is such a special thing. The amount of thought and detail that went in to this product creates a world of wonder and beauty.
I honestly think Nintendo Labo is one of the most delightful “games” I’ve played this year
It really is tons of fun. The building is somewhat therapeutic and the joy you feel on completion and enjoying the game is something special. I lived streamed for close on 3 hours. If you want to see what I mean skip to the last 15 minutes and tell me you aren’t entertained and intrigued: